Maliki Tells Iran and Syria to Stay Out of Iraq Conflict

Prime Minister Maliki warned that mounting terrorism and sectarian violence inside Iraq could spread across the Middle East if it does not stop.

The Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, left, addresses the Baghdad peace conference, while the country’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari looks on in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, March 10, 2007. Al-Maliki appealed Saturday for international help to cut off networks aiding extremists and warned envoys from neighbors and world powers that Iraq’s growing sectarian bloodshed could spill across the Middle East. (AP Photo/Sabah Arar)

Prime Minister al-Maliki tells Iran and Syria to quit fighting their proxy wars in Iraq.
Malaysia Star reports:

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki urged key players at a regional conference on Saturday to adopt a firm stand against terrorism in Iraq and stop playing out their differences in his country.

Iraq called the meeting to enlist regional support to stop sectarian violence that has racked the country, killed tens of thousands and driven some 2 million abroad since the U.S.-led invasion four years ago that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Besides finding ways to stop the bloodshed, the one-day meeting is also seen as a rare opportunity for bringing together old enemies Iran and the United States at the same table.

“We call on all to take moral responsibility by adopting a strong and clear stance against terrorism in Iraq and cooperate in stamping out forces of terror,” Maliki said, according to the text of his speech to the opening session of the conference, attended by deputy foreign ministers and other such officials from Iran, Syria and the United States.

He did not pick out any country individually but the United States has accused Iran and Syria of fomenting violence in Iraq and supplying weapons and support for militant groups, charges both countries deny. Delegates from all three countries attended the conference.

“We … demand that regional or international states refrain from interfering or influencing the Iraqi state of affairs through supporting a certain sect, ethnicity or party,” he said.

Meanwhile… Like the democrats here at home, Iran told the US today to set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, front, talks to Iraqi army soldiers in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, March 9, 2007. Al-Maliki strolled Baghdad’s streets and visited police checkpoints Friday to showcase security ahead of an international conference aimed at stabilizing the war-torn country with help from its neighbors. (AP Photo/Wathiq Khuzaie)

And… Powerline today reports that the political winds may be shifting in Iraq.

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